Redecorating on a Budget

Redecorating on a Budget

Grace Shu
Mar 24, 2009

Yesterday, Kelley's apartment was all about reconfiguring the space and taking stock in what she already had before hitting up Ikea and Home Depot (get the back story here). Today, it's about taking one project (in this case, Kelley's credenza, a Craigslist find) and just hit the ground running. If you've ever been faced with a project that motivates you enough to buy it, but not enough to actually do it--well, hopefully, this post will inspire you to get started...

Before there was the credenza, the TV was sitting on top of a vintage tin top table that jutted out from the wall and offered no storage (hence the wicker basket underneath), like so:

However, when Kelley saw this listing on Craigslist six months ago, she knew it had potential: A little elbow grease could get this piece back to its former glory.

Here's what the credenza looked like when she brought it home:

Enlisting the help of her friend Nathan (who luckily happens to be a motorcycle mechanic in Daly City), the pair of them went straight to work sanding the surfaces down by hand. (An electric sander would have been nice, but out of budget and no one she knew had one to borrow). After the sanding was done ("I can't even tell you how happy I am that I never have to sand that thing again!"), Kelley and Nathan re-stained the wood a deeper shade with underlying red tones.

And here's what the credenza looked like after staining and a few coats of varnish:

After some indecision, she finally decided on painting the inside cabinet white, and the inside of the cabinet and drawer pulls a shiny black enamel leftover from one of Nathan's previous mechanic jobs:

A view of the inside of the credenza:

...and a close-up of the drawer pull design:

"I never thought about black enamel, but then when we spot-tested it on an old Michael McDonnell record that was lying around, I was sold..."

Once the major hurdle of refinishing the wood was done, the second major challenge was finding the right cabinet pulls. Since the left side of the credenza slides open, the pulls on the right side had to be shallow enough so the left door could slide easily. Kelley and I hit up to Home Depot first, guesstimated the size, bought a set of pulls...only to realize that they were too big. After an emergency trip to Cliff's Variety Hardware store in the Castro (seriously, one of the best hardware stores in SF--I wish there was a hardware store like this in LA!), we found smaller pulls and picked up shorter screws. Also, we opted to go with a shiny silver look instead of the antique brass that the credenza originally came with.

The finished product:

The inside of Kelley's credenza holds books that she's finished from the Expedit bookcase, her audio equipment for her DJ set up, and the DVD player for her TV.

Sometimes, all it takes is one project to inspire us to get other projects done. In Kelley's case, this credenza is one of the first major projects that she has undertaken--and the process and end result gave her the motivation to rework her studio.

Check back tomorrow when we finally figure out what to do with the radiator, nicknamed The Beast...
Missed what happened so far? Catch up on yesterday's post on Kelley's studio makeover.

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